• Oculus' next big move is to make VR a social experience

  • Google finds that security questions aren't really secure

    If you've ever thought that "what was your first pet's name?" is a lousy way to keep intruders from resetting your password, you now have some evidence to back up your suspicions. Google has published research showing that security questions aren't that secure at all. In many cases, your answers are straightforward enough that attackers stand a decent chance of getting them right in 10 guesses or less. And you probably don't want to use bogus answers to throw people off the scent, either. Many of those who try this strategy use common words and make it easier for someone to get in.

  • Instagram wants to reel you back in with emailed photo highlights

    Instagram's photographic social feed isn't as novel as it once was, and you may be tempted to stop using it if you're overwhelmed by that never-ending stream of square pictures. How is the company supposed to keep you coming back for more? Though regular email blasts, apparently. TechCrunch has confirmed that Instagram is now sending "Highlights," email digests that showcase some of the better photos from those you follow. While this see-what-you're-missing strategy isn't new (Facebook and Twitter have done this for a while), it acknowledges that only some of Instagram's 300 million users are active shutterbugs – this could help you remember the service and catch photos that would otherwise slip under the radar. Yes, the highlights are ultimately meant to get you viewing more ads, but they may be useful if you'd rather not spend every day wading through an image stream.

  • NASA finds distant galaxy shining as bright as 300 trillion suns

    Ever tried looking at the sun with your bare eyes? Too bright, right? Now imagine looking at something with the brightness of 300 trillion suns. That's how intense "the most luminous galaxy found to date" is, so much so that NASA has created a new classification for it and the 19 other similar galaxies it has discovered: extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs. Scientists have recently spotted the ELIRGs in infrared images of the sky taken by the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope in 2010. This particular one is located 12.5 billion light years away, which means it started forming soon after the universe was born 13.8 billion years ago. As for why it's so incredibly brilliant, NASA JPL scientist Chao-Wei Tsai says it "may be from the main growth spurt of the galaxy's black hole."

  • DOJ lays down some privacy rules for feds flying drones

    The Justice Department promises to keep a closer eye on how its agencies are using drones from now on – after all, they can be useful in nabbing suspects, but they can also be used as a tool to abuse power. In its new five-page policy guidance, the department has listed when its agencies can and can't use drones, with a focus on people's right to privacy. For instance, they can't be deployed to monitor activities protected by the First Amendment, such as peaceful protests. Authorities will also have to secure warrants to use the machines in places where the subject of investigation has "reasonable expectation of privacy." Obviously, the drones can only be used for authorized investigations and never for engaging in discriminatory acts.

  • Artist adds poop emoji to selfie sticks to remind us of mortality

    As depressing as it may be, selfie sticks are inescapable despite how many places ban them. It's a sad truth of the future we live in. But! An enterprising artist by the name of Pablo Garcia has figured out a way to "reduce vainglory and self-importance" by adding pixely emoji to the reviled smartphone accessory. It's a bit more difficult than it looks, though. Garcia says he employed elements of anamorphosis, a technique to distort an image so that it's only visible from a specific angle, to make sure the smiling pile of poop, thumbs up and party horn appear correctly when shot from the smartphone's extended perspective. Is there some bigger message or implication here? "Perhaps it's a sober reminder of your mortality in the midst of your vainglory, or simply a pile of poop with eyes," Garcia writes. There you have it folks: sometimes a rose really is just a (smelly) rose.

  • Guy hoverboards across a Canadian lake and into history

  • Android M might have its own fingerprint login system

    Android is getting a TouchID-style system of its own with Android M, according to Buzzfeed's sources. Apparently it'll act a lot like the iOS tool too, bypassing passwords for associated apps in favor of reading your fingerprint. Given that I/O is practically right around the corner (next week!) it shouldn't be long before this all gets confirmed – Google hasn't responded to our request for comment just yet.

  • Adobe says goodbye to its Photoshop Touch app, hello to Project Rigel

    Adobe's been keen on new mobile apps as of late, but today it announced the end of the road for one of its more popular pieces of software. As of next week, Photoshop Touch will no longer be available in iTunes, Google Play and other app libraries and the creative software company will not push new updates. Photoshop Touch was a bit of a tough sell at $10, especially when the new round of apps began rolling out for free. The last major update to Touch came in late 2012, and and in the time since, Adobe announced Photoshop Mix alongside its Ink and Slide drawing accessories. And there's a mobile version of Lightroom now, too. With its big mobile push, the company has focused on a stable of apps dedicated to specific tasks, rather than an all-in-one solution like Photoshop Touch.

  • Google launches Hispanic coding initiative in eight US cities

    The Hispanic Heritage Foundation's (HHF) president, Jose Antonio Tijerino, thinks that "seeing a latino programmer shouldn't be akin to seeing a unicorn," so his group is trying to do something about it. Together with Google, it launched Code as a Second Language (CSL) courses in eight cities, including New York, Las Angeles and Miami. The idea is to introduce students to coding through 1-2 hour sessions, then steer them to the LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) network for ongoing online instruction. Students who complete that training could later be granted internships and possibly full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies.